Building a Fire
Building a Fire
Building a fire is one of the necessary steps to being able to survive. In the wilderness, or if your home is without power, fire means warmth and warm food. Having a fire starter is not the only thing you need to build a fire. You need to first dig a fire pit about 3-6 inches deep, so that wind does not disrupt or put out your fire.
Materials for the Fire
You need to gather three different types of materials: Tinder, kindling, and logs. Tinder includes easily flammable materials such as bark, dry grass, and torn up leaves. Make sure the tinder is torn up into small bits, this helps get a fire to start faster.
Kindling includes medium sized materials such as leaves and twigs. These materials will catch flames from the tinder quickly.
Create the Fire
To create the fire in your fire pit, surround the outer area with a circle of rocks if possible. This further helps the fire to not get blown out. In the middle of your fire pit, this is where you pile your tinder. Next, make a mini “teepee” shape using your kindling. Create another, larger teepee shape using several of your logs. If you plan on cooking over the fire, put a square wall with two-three stacked logs on each side around the outer rim of the fire. Light your fire using a fire starter kit or lighter, lighting the tinder. Fan the flames gently until the kindling catches. This can take some time due to wind or weather, so be patient. Once the logs have started catching flame, you are good to go! Continue to add logs to the large teepee shape as needed.
Make sure that you keep your fire to a reasonable size. You don’t want it to be near any low hanging branches, or anything near by that could catch fire. Keep your fire at least 6-8 feet away from your shelter. In an area of dirt is best. Keep a shovel and plenty of dirt available, because covering the fire with a mixture of water and dirt is the best way to put it out. Make sure to stir the fire with a stick even after you put it out. This will reveal embers which could re-ignite flames if not put out again.
Once you memorize the basics, starting a fire will become easier and easier. Remember to always use safety first, and always prepare by keeping any kind of fire starter with you.